I am certainly an advocate of reducing air pollution. I have been driving electric hybrid vehicles for more than a dozen years…and I am slowly moving towards full electric. HOWEVER, as with most industries, we have, and pardon the pun, put the cart before the horse.
In a recent article summary by Ars Technica of a study reported in Nature, we have not developed a means of properly reusing and recycling the batteries that we are developing. At some point the best batteries will not be able to maintain enough of a charge to power a car. As noted, resting these batteries for grid scale storage is a good second use. That is, a way of effectively reusing them to extend their usefulness. But this has limits and all batteries will eventually have to be dealt with.
The problem is how to extract the useful materials via recycling while maintaining the economic equation so that we don’t go broke in the process. Right now, that is not happening.
To be sure, we have never dealt with our waste. We create technologies with little or no thought about what to do with the technology when it is no longer useful. We have been creating Nuclear Waste with no planning, and now we are repeating this with batteries. Clearly, batteries are less dangerous overall (don’t tell that to a recycling center for paper, cans and bottles since small batteries of the same type used in cars are causing fires regularly), but this must be dealt with.
I for one would be willing to pay an upfront fee to insure that the batteries are properly recycled. We do that here in NJ for electronics, and maybe soon paint…so why not have the industry create a “Battery Care” program such as that created by the paint industry for “Paint Care?”
Read The Full Article Here:
Recycling cars’ lithium batteries is more complicated than you might think